Two big calls went against Seabreeze on the final drive of the game Friday, and the Sandcrabs lost to the Bulldogs 23-22.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
For the second straight week, the Seabreeze Sandcrabs lost on the final play of the game. However, Friday night’s 23-22 loss to DeLand High School had some controversy.
With time expiring and the Bulldogs down by five, quarterback Coleton Robinson threw the ball up to the front corner of the end zone. It appeared as if DeLand receiver Gabe Schrade couldn’t hold onto the ball and it bounced out of the end zone.
However, the nearest official to the play quickly signaled a touchdown and the game ended with the Bulldogs rushing the field.
“Nobody else called touchdown but him,” Seabreeze Head Coach Marc Beach said of the referee, who he identified as Jimmy Smith. “So he had it in his mind whether the kid caught it or not, whether it was going to be a touchdown.”
Beach was also upset about a pass interference penalty called against the Sandcrabs on a DeLand fourth-down play. If it wasn’t for the penalty, also called by Smith, Beach said, the Sandcrabs would have been back on offense and could have ended the game.
Beach added that his staff would submit a copy of the game tape to the Florida High School Athletic Association, in hopes that Smith won’t work any additional Seabreeze games.
Up 16-10 with just under 12 minutes left in the game, Seabreeze quarterback Connor Blair found receiver Raushod Floyd open in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Sandcrabs went for the two-point conversion but were unable to convert and led 22-10.
Roughly a minute later, DeLand running back JoJo Kemp scored on a 30-yard run to cut the lead to 22-17 after the extra point.
Kemp didn’t play in the first half and the Bulldog offense looked much more efficient with him in the game in the second half.
The biggest drive of the first half for Seabreeze may have been its last drive of the half, which was kept alive by one play and three big efforts.
On second down and long, Blair dropped back to pass and was pressured. The junior quarterback was able to slip away and connect with Charles Nelson, who ran down to the 5-yard line.
Nelson’s run-after-catch was impressive, but wouldn’t have been much more than 10 yards if receiver Jalen Hinson hadn’t been looking to make a block. His blindside block of a Bulldog defender sprung Nelson and energized the Seabreeze student section.
“These have to be building blocks for us,” Beach said after the game, when talking about dealing with another tough loss. “I wish we were on the other side (of the outcomes). Flagler (Palm Coast) had the last play at the end of the game there, too. And, you know, I hope we can build and grow and try to get better.”
Here come the waterworks
At the end of the third quarter, Seabreeze’s Justin Sampson returned a kickoff after a Bulldog touchdown. Sampson took the ball back to the DeLand 25-yard line where he was knocked out of bounds.
In the process of being knocked out of bounds a water pipe burst open and water began to spray near the Seabreeze sideline. After a few minutes the water was turned off.
The Sandcrabs will host Deltona next week at 7 p.m.